Four wheels and an open road follow 50 years of searching
Story by Joe Higgins | Photos by John Halley
The 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk in the possession of Harry Foltz, of Logan, represents fond memories of a time long since passed. The Hawaiian Green paint scheme complete with the shine of chrome and the signature Silver Hawk ornament on the hood take Foltz back to a time when “classic” cars were just “cars.”
In his early 20s, Foltz, now 74, was the proud owner of a vehicle similar to the Silver Hawk, only his sported a hue of orange and was a Golden Hawk model. While the restored Silver Hawk has an automatic transmission, his original Golden Hawk was a standard.
Foltz owned his Golden Hawk for a couple of years until a Studebaker dealer approached him with a deal he couldn’t refuse at the time.
“He traded me a ’62 XKE Jaguar Convertible and a Morris Minor Convertible to even up for it,” said Foltz. “It was a deal I couldn’t refuse but I was sorry for it … After I got rid of it, I was sorry and I’ve been looking for 50 years for one.”
For some time, Foltz would keep an eye out for the chance to own another ’59 Studebaker. Although he found them here and there, they always seemed to be a lap ahead of him when it came to price. It’s hard to find a restored classic car in the realm of the $75 Foltz paid for his Golden Hawk when he bought it off a neighbor.
Last year, however, Foltz’s son found the Hawaiian Green Silver Hawk in South Carolina.
“I got online, got pictures of it … It was within my price range so I had it shipped to me,” Foltz said.
The Silver Hawk’s sleek body lines wrap around a stunning V8 engine and flow down the sides of the door, to the large trunk and culminate with a continental kit adjacent to the rear bumper.
The front end is the star of the vehicle with the aforementioned Silver Hawk hood ornament and also a Rolls Royce-styled grill. According to Foltz, the ’59 is actually a combination of that year and 1958 as the manufacturer used ’58 parts on the new model. The grill Foltz added are from 1959 and the only parts from 1958 on it are parking lights. He said that around 5,000 Silver Hawks were made, about half that contain the V8 engine and this Hawaiian Green version is one of the first hundred or so to come off the assembly line.
It’s no surprise that the day the Silver Hawk arrived on a truck in front of Foltz’s home that all the neighbors gathered around to get a glance of the beauty.
“For 50 years I was looking for this … I’m just tickled to death to have it,” said Foltz.
With only about 300 miles on it since its restoration, the Silver Hawk doesn’t always get out in the sun but when it does, heads are sure to turn.
“Every place I go with it … It almost causes wrecks with everyone,” he said. “It gets the looks.”
Foltz has entered the Silver Hawk into two car shows. In July, the car won for Best Restoration and was named in the Top 25 of entrants. In September, the car also placed in the Top 25.